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Check Engine Light

Check Engine Light

Check Engine Light When your Check Engine light comes on, you may be torn between utter panic and just wanting to ignore it and hope it goes away. That's perfectly understandable. That same Check Engine light could come on for anything from a serious engine or transmission problem all the way down to a loose gas cap. There's a very common misconception that the trouble codes stored in your engine computer when your check engine light comes on will specifically identify a problem. It's really more like pointing to the symptoms of a problem. Call Automobile Service Co at 952.929.0615 for help with your Check Engine light. Think of taking your temperature. Say it's 101°. Your heat sensor – the thermometer – tells you that your temperature is out of the normal range. But it doesn't tell you why you have a fever. Is it the flu or a sinus infection? You need more information, more tests. For any given trouble code, there could be a number of causes. So ... read more

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Repairs

EVAP System

EVAP System

The oil and fuel in your vehicle give off vapors that are very harmful to the environment. Evaporative emissions control systems – EVAP for short – are mandated in all cars and trucks. The job of the EVAP system is to capture these vapors and direct them into the engine to be burned – kind of an on-board recycling program. The EVAP system is a complicated network of hoses, valves, filters and such. Issues with the EVAP system are in the top 5 reasons for a Check Engine light to be illuminated. A qualified service technician at Automobile Service Co pulls the trouble codes and begins a diagnostic procedure to isolate the fault. With the proper equipment, the technician can test the valves in order to trace a blockage. A low pressure smoke test can be performed to find any leaks. The necessary repairs are then made to get the EVAP system working again and to reset the Check Engine light. While EVAP problems don’t generally lead to vehicle damage, the fact that th ... read more

Diesel Maintenance at Automobile Service Co

A lot of St Louis Park drivers are excited about the new diesel engines that are becoming available in passenger cars and SUV's, and they're curious about the preventive maintenance requirements for diesels. St Louis Park motorists may not know that diesel engines have long been used extensively in Europe and Asia. In fact, in some markets, there're nearly as many diesel powered passenger cars as there are gasoline cars. You may ask, why has it taken so long getting in North America? There are a bunch of reasons like MN fuel tax policies and such, but the biggest hurdle was that North American diesel fuel had a high sulfur content – too high for the latest generation of highly refined diesel engines. Recent government mandates to remove sulfur now open North America up to the engines the rest of the world's been enjoying for a long time. Why are diesels so popul ... read more

Simple Answers from Automobile Service Co in St Louis Park : Severe Service

Simple Answers from Automobile Service Co in St Louis Park : Severe Service

Question: What is a severe service maintenance schedule?Automobile Service Co Answer: When I was a kid in St Louis Park, Sunday meant having a bath, getting dressed for church and then hanging up my Sunday clothes soon as we got home. Mom didn't have to wash those clothes but once a month or so. Now, Saturdays were another story entirely: catching lizards, splash contests in mud puddles and crawling through the brush with GI Joe. Those clothes went straight into the laundry basket. My Sunday clothes – easy use. My Saturday clothes – hard use. They required a different laundry schedule. Severe service maintenance schedules are kind of like that for St Louis Park drivers. “Normal” driving has a regular schedule; “hard” driving has a severe service schedule. Service intervals are shorter on the severe schedule. Most owner's ... read more

Better Service, Better Fuel Economy in St Louis Park

Better Service, Better Fuel Economy in St Louis Park

Many St Louis Park area folks want to know how to improve gas mileage. At Automobile Service Co, we help St Louis Park keep their vehicles in prime condition which makes them more efficient fuel-wise. When your car works the way it was designed to, it means it uses less fuel, and you save money. To help organize our discussion, let's think of things that rob us of fuel economy in two ways: increased friction and inefficient fuel combustion. Friction. Anything that increases friction increases drag or load on the engine. It has to work harder to overcome the drag – and that takes more fuel. The first thing that comes to mind is engine oil. Low oil means there's not enough to fully lubricate the engine so there's more friction. The wrong viscosity and grade of oil can also adversely affect fuel economy. Talk to your friendly and knowledgeable Automobile Service Co service advisor about the right kind of oil for your car. Dirty oil won't lubricate ... read more

A quick overview of the fuel system

A quick overview of the fuel system

We'd like to give our friends in St Louis Park, MN, a quick overview of the fuel system. It starts with the fuel pump. The fuel pump is located inside the tank and pumps fuel out to the engine. Somewhere along the way is a fuel filter whose job is to filter out dirt before it hits the engine. Then there's the fuel intake system and the fuel injectors that deliver the fuel to be burned in the engine. Our focus is to discuss how to make the various components of your fuel system work well and last as long as possible. Now the best thing you can do for your fuel pump is to use good quality fuel. Top tier gas typically has fewer contaminants and more detergents to keep things clean. Using good gas, or adding a fuel system cleaner to your tank, can prolong the life of your fuel pump. Be ... read more

What St Louis Park Drivers Need to Know About Their Serpentine Belt

What St Louis Park Drivers Need to Know About Their Serpentine Belt

Your serpentine belt drives your alternator and air conditioning compressor. The power steering and power brake pumps are driven by the serpentine belt in many vehicles. In some vehicles, the water pump is driven by the serpentine belt (in others it's driven by the timing belt). The radiator cooling fan on some vehicles is also driven by the serpentine belt. Some have separate electric motors. Serpentine belts do a lot of work for St Louis Park vehicles. They're tough and can last a long time, but just how long will they last? That'll vary for each individual vehicle. Your vehicle manufacturer will have a recommendation for when it should be changed, but it could need changing sooner. The good news is that a visual inspection at Automobile Service Co in St Louis Park can reveal a belt that's worn. It's often recommended that the tensioner pulley that keeps the belt ... read more

An Ounce of Prevention = A Pound of Cure Pt.1

An Ounce of Prevention = A Pound of Cure Pt.1

Avoiding performing recommended maintenance service can come with a hefty price tag. Here are four important steps you can take to protect your vehicle. Change the Oil Regularly First up is the simple oil change. Bottom line – if you change your oil on schedule, your engine will be properly protected. Go past the recommended mileage interval, typically every 3,000 to 5,000 miles depending on driving conditions, and sludge begins to build up in your engine. This sludge can clog small oil passages that keep important parts of the engine from being cooled and lubricated. That is never good for your engine. If your engine has variable valve timing, as most do nowadays, or a turbocharger, then these expensive components are at high risk for failure and expensive replacement. If you’re not sure how often you should change your vehicle’s oil, ask your Service Advisor. Change Timing Belts and Chains Timely Many vehicles come equipped with ... read more

When to Replace Shocks or Struts

When to Replace Shocks or Struts

If you’ve ever ridden on a boat through choppy waters, you know how unpleasant the ride can be. That’s because there is little to help absorb the impacts from heavy waves crashing against the hull. The road can have a similar effect on your vehicle without reliable shocks and struts to insulate your ride. But when do you know when it’s time to replace your shocks or struts? It’s recommended to have your shocks and struts checked at 50,000 miles. But there are other tale-tell signs you should look out for that indicate the need to replace your shocks or struts: Uneven wear on your tires Poor steering The vehicle sways or leans when you change lanes Visible damage to the shock Visible wear or cracking on mounts Leaking shocks So what exactly are shocks and struts? Shocks actually absorb shocks from the road and keep your car from bouncing. Struts are a structural part of the suspension system, they provide a place to mount the coil springs and maintain the ... read more

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Shocks , Struts

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